I've been hearing about San Francisco's Zuni Cafe Tuscan Bread Salad for months now, and the recipe never fails to tempt me with its complex combination of flavors and textures. So while the salad I put together today did not follow the Zuni example, exactly, I do have to give them credit for inspiring me.
My mother was coming for lunch today and I wanted to make something that would knock her socks off, but would also make use of some leftovers I had on hand. Once I surveyed the roasted chicken, Perfect Vinaigrette, and crusty french loaf before me I knew that it was bread salad time, indeed.
Roasted Chicken Bread Salad
4-5 cups of cubed French bread (stale is good)
red wine vinegar
handful of dried cherries
1 large clove of garlic, slivered
3-4 scallions (shallots would be good, too), sliced
leftoverRoasted Lemon Chicken
small head Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
two handfuls baby spinach
handful fresh parsley
Start by slicing the crust off of the loaf of bread, and then cubing it. Toss the bread in some olive oil and then broil until deep golden brown on all sides. I really toasted the bread pretty thoroughly--it was important to me to maintain some of the "crunch" texture even after it soaks up some vinaigrette. Once it is out of the oven, toss it back into the olive oil-slicked bowl and add the dried cherries and a few splashes of the vinegar. Toss well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the leftover chicken into a small roasting dish (adding whatever pan juices you have--some of the fat skimmed from your stock would work, too), and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Heat for about 15 minutes.
While the chicken is reheating, drizzle the bread generously with the vinaigrette. Toss well. In a small saute pan, heat the garlic and scallions in a little olive oil over medium low heat. You want them to soften, but not brown. Add to the bread mixture.
Place greens in serving dishes. Top with bread mixture, then a few slices of the roasted chicken. Drizzle a Tbsp of the chicken pan juices over the salad and serve immediately. Enjoy!